3-D Design Software

There are often questions in this NG about 3-D design software for various purposes.
If anyone is interested, there is a fully functional version of TurboCAD 7.1 on the cover disk of the December (yes I know!) edition of PC Plus magazine, which is now available.
As far as I know, this is general purpose design software, and is not aimed at any particular area - such as house design or mechanical engineering - although it can, of course be used for these things and many more.
Like all CAD software, it is likely to have a steep learning curve - but with the winter evenings coming on, I thought some people might be interested in having a go.
Roger
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Thanks for the tip. I am looking for some software to plan floor areas and to plan an extension. I used IMSI floorplan v2 but no longer works with my operating system ( windows NT ). 3d not necessary. there are loads of yank programmes but sizes of bathroom units etc are way out so not useful. Any recommondations ?
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various
7.1
magazine,
aimed
engineering -

I don't think there's a simple answer. As you say, Yank programs come with the wrong sized fittings.
I'm not sure whether TurboCAD comes with any libraries of standard parts at all - but you can always design your own, and thus ensure that they meet your requirements. I think this is the approach I would probably take, because it's very flexible - albeit slower than a ready-made solution.
Roger
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On 2 Oct 2003 15:39:25 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (dave) wrote:

I use Lightwave myself, but surely no one in their right mind could justify the expense of it solely for DIY alone! Where I find it scores is that I make everything I need in it, so it matters not to me what sizes of anything it comes with if you see what I mean.
Following that line of thought, Discreet software make GMax available as a free download on their site. I'd add this warning though, the learning "curve" is more of a "cliff", but there are books in the shops for 3dMax and that's it's bigger brother, so learning is not going to be that bad for anyone determined enough to put in the effort it would require - you'll need a recent, quick computer with plenty of ram though to get anything like the best out of it.
It is amazing how much a proper 3d application can help if you can manage to find the self discipline for it though.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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7.1
magazine,
aimed
For the kitchen and bathroom, try 'Kitchendraw' (http://www.kitchendraw.com /) , it's really excellent. UK based catalogues of units and fitments can be downloaded, and you can use it for FREE for 24 hours (of actual design time). Professionals apparently use it and buy extra time. I designed our kitchen and utlity room, generated lighting plans for the electrician, plumbing for plumber etc over the last 6 months. Still have 7 hrs left! We were able to produce plan drawings for the units and appliances, plus the downlighter positions, and elevations of each wall.
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The best design software for conceptual and illustrative purposes is Sketchup - www.sketchup.com
Most CAD software involves the need to learn the software. Sketchup as a few basic commands from which you can develop a full 3d model and render it with shadows and shading - you just get on with the design. It really is very easy to use.
Many architectural practices use it to present the design to clients or planning depts.
Its not free, about $470, but if you are a designer, then this is a must have.
There are examples and tutorials on their site, and you can try the software for 8 hours before purchase. However, it is worth every penny.
dg

7.1
magazine,
aimed
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wrote:

Just went for a look, and for a beginner it might well be OK, not too shabby at all. OK for rough sketch work. I was left with the impression that it's a bit like a "microwave ready meal"; expensive for what it is, but would probably do the job "close enough for jazz" if you're in a hurry, assuming the cooking directions do in fact work out OK.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Have a look at some of the work done in the forums and in the galllery. The detail is amazing.
Don't be put off by its apparent simplicity - we, along with some other users, have started to use it for the initial and intermediate design stages, and then only convert the model back to Autocad to mark up and print.
If you are going to take the trial, then be sure to watch the tutorial videos first. You'll be working in no time.
dg

few
software
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wrote:

I did.

! ;O)

Not put off in the slightest, I totally agree, it looks fine and pretty simple.

I think I'll stick with Lightwave ;O)
Others might well like it if they are learning about 3d for use in DIY though. It's definitely a good idea to have something with which to work in 3d, so as to ease some DIY stuff through the planning and speccing stages. I'm working on something at present when I get the odd moment, and I'm on the "real world" MK3 now, but it's had literally hundreds of revisions in 3d - I could never even have afforded the materials alone for those in the real world, never mind the time.
One aspect where it really can help is with morale; if you've got a working one in 3d it can drive you on even if a project is a "proper sod" since you can see where you are headed, that the end result will be sound, and therefore worthwhile continuing. You can't buy a boost like that really.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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